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Why Does New Orleans Saints Mascot Sir Saint Have To Be White?—They Should Have A Black One As Well

(12/16/09–Greetings Saintsreport.com readers. You sure do seem defensive over this matter. Maybe it is the long shameful—and still unaddressed—history of race relations in New Orleans and Louisiana that makes you so defensive. I wonder how many of you folks ever have written with such passion in favor of racial and economic justice as you write on behalf of a football mascot? Here is the current day New Orleans you folks commenting below are defending.)

Above is the strange New Orleans Saints mascot Sir Saint.

Why does he have to be white?

In 2008, 65% of NFL players were black.

29% of players were white in 2008.

Plenty of folks in New Orleans and Louisiana are black.

When this mascot was designed, a decision had to be made if he would be black or white.

Why white instead of black?

With almost two-thirds of NFL players black, maybe he should have been black.

Maybe the Saints could have two mascots.

They could have a white one and a black one who go around the field as loyal teammates.

According to the book How Barack Obama Won by Chuck Todd and Sheldon Gawiser, 84% of white voters in Louisiana voted for John McCain in 2008 while 94% of blacks voted for Barack Obama.

That is quite a racial disparity.

Here is a history of post-Civil War Reconstruction in Louisiana.

It is an ugly and brutal story that led to the terrible Jim Crow-era in Louisiana.

You can say that Sir Saint is just a silly football mascot and who cares what he looks like?

Yet in a place with as nasty a racial history as Louisiana and New Orleans, the decision as to what color the football mascot should be implies something. Especially when the mascot does not look like the majority of players on the field.

(Not that the deformed Sir Saint looks like most white players either.)

The Saints should get themselves an odd-looking black mascot as well and the black and white mascots could play catch on the sidelines and team-up to tackle rival mascots. This would show people that black and white folks can get along—-Even in Louisiana.

What would be best would be if the black mascot and the white mascot could get married in a halftime ceremony. Such a ceremony would help the players get in touch with their true feelings with all that physical male-bonding going on in football.

The gay marriage though might have to wait until I own the Saints.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

What Is Juneteenth?—It Is Up To You To Learn About Your Freedom

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the celebration to mark the end of slavery in the United States.

On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, landing at Galveston, Texas, made the announcement that the Civil War was over and that slaves were free.

Please click here for a list of Juneteenth celebrations and observances in the United States.

Here is information on Juneteenth from the very useful Handbook of Texas Online.

From the Handbook—

“On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. The tidings of freedom reached slaves gradually as individual plantation owners read the proclamation to their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African Americanabout their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.”

Though the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863, it took time for word to get around that slavery was over. People went around for two years not knowing they were free.

The knowledge you need for your freedom is out there. You just may not be aware.

It’s up to you to gain the knowledge you require about your history. I mean this for people of all colors because history is a shared thing. The fate of all people is connected.

The knowledge you need is on-line, in books, and at the library. You don’t need money if you are willing to learn.

You are intelligent and you are able to gain the knowledge you need.

Of course— just because someone says that you are free, does not mean that you really are free.

After Juneteenth was the failure of Reconstruction and over 100 years of Jim Crow.

Here is a history of Reconstruction.

Here is a history of Jim Crow.

Here is a collection of links that form a history of slavery in the United States.

( I’ve also written what I think is the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference list on the web. Please click here to see the list.)

Below is a picture of a man who was a slave and who was whipped many times by his overseer.

File:Cicatrices de flagellation sur un esclave.jpg

The man in the picture above had no choice about his fate in life.

And even today we are not in full control of our fates. Circumstance and chance play a role in life.

Yet you have the option to learn about your freedom and to conduct yourself as a free person.

I ask all people to make use of this option.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another Statue Of James Garfield Attacked In Ohio

A sandstone statue carved in the image of President James A. Garfield is shown Friday, May 15, 2009, on the campus of Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. Someone has beheaded a statue just a day after it was dedicated Thursday.

A statue of President James Garfield had been beheaded at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.

Here is the link for Hiram College.

Above you see a picture of the headless statue.

Here is a report on the issue from the Zanesville Times-Recorder.

Last year this blog reported that I know who spray-painted the anarchy symbol 15 years ago on the statue of James Garfield  in Downtown Cincinnati. Look at the base at the statue and you can still see where the symbol was painted.

It’s crazy. It seems that every 15 years or so someone in Ohio attacks a statue of James Garfield.

What can be done to stop these attacks! In 2024 another one of these monuments may well be assaulted.

Here is very good information about James Garfield. Mr. Garfield was our 20th President. He served only in 1881 because he was both sworn-in and assassinated in that year. 

The link above is from the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

From Mr. Garfield’s Miller Center profile—

The youngest of five children born on a poor farm on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio, Garfield is perhaps the poorest man ever to have become President. Supporting himself as a part-time teacher, a carpenter, and even a janitor through college, he was an idealistic young man who identified with the antislavery tenants of the new Republican Party. Garfield studied law on his own and passed the Ohio bar exams in 1861 before throwing himself into politics and winning a seat in the Ohio legislature. Garfield was a loyal Unionist who built a reputation as a Civil War hero that earned him a seat in the House of Representatives without ever having campaigned……Since Garfield was struck down four months into his term, historians can only speculate as to what his presidency might have been like. Garfield was assassinated by Charles Julius Guiteau, an emotionally disturbed man who had failed to gain an appointment in Garfield’s administration. Garfield did have time to appoint his cabinet, however, and in doing so, he refused to cave in to Stalwart pressure, enraging Senator Conkling, who resigned in protest. Had Garfield served his term, historians speculate that he would have been determined to move toward civil service reform and carry on in the clean government tradition of President Hayes. He also supported education for black southerners and called for African American suffrage, as he stressed in his inaugural address. Unfortunately, he is best remembered for his assassination. And although his killer was insane, Garfield’s greatest legacy was the impact of his death on moving the nation to reform government patronage.”

I will say, as much as I like the Miller Center for information about the Presidents,I doubt Mr. Garfield would have done as much for black folks as it is suggested here. Reconstruction-era Presidents talked a good game. But in most cases they did not deliver. 

Here is a useful history of Reconstruction from PBS.

May 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Early Voted In Harris County—Some Democrats I Enjoyed Voting For And Two That Failed To Impress

Yestrerday I early voted at the Harris County Administration building (above) located at 1001 Preston Avenue in Downtown Houston, Texas. 

The electronic voting gizmo, which I feel is programmed to flip all my votes to the Republican Party, allowed me to vote in Vietnamese—

(Sunset in a Vietnamese fishing village called Mui Ne

   

…And in Spanish as well.

( Below is Valparaiso, Chile.)

If English is the official language of the United States, how come I can vote in Vietnamese and Spanish in a right wing place like Texas? We’ve even been at war with Vietnam and Spain in the past.

I’m glad we have the ability to make peace with former enemies. We are all brothers and sisters.

I’m very glad I got the chance to vote for a black man named Barack H. Obama for President of the United States. That is what I call progress.

( Below–Blacks voting in 1867. Here is a history of Reconstruction)

I voted for each Democrat on the ballot. Though I did not use the straight party ticket button. I enjoy voting and I went down and selected the name of each candidate.   

I’ve written before, and still assert, that the straight ticket voter is possibly the most rational voter of all. Party identification serves as a kind of shorthand for voters to be able to navigate the large number of issues we confront in our complex society.

However, we do retain the right not to support all the candidates of our favored political party. Inevitably, some will be hard to take.

I paused over the names of Michael Skelly for the 7th U.S. House district from Texas and David Mincberg for the office of Harris County Judge Executive.

Mr. Skelly has campaigned in large part on the false issues of earmark reform and a balanced budget. These are irresponsible postions at a time when swift and decisive action from government is needed to bring our economy back to health.

Here is what Nobel Prize winning New York Times columnist recently said about government’s role in our economic recovery—

….there’s a lot the federal government can do for the economy. It can provide extended benefits to the unemployed, which will both help distressed families cope…It can provide emergency aid to state and local governments, so that they aren’t forced into steep spending cuts that both degrade public services and destroy jobs. It can buy up mortgages (but not at face value, as John McCain has proposed) and restructure the terms to help families stay in their homes. And this is also a good time to engage in some serious infrastructure spending, which the country badly needs in any case. The usual argument against public works as economic stimulus is that they take too long: by the time you get around to repairing that bridge and upgrading that rail line, the slump is over and the stimulus isn’t needed. Well, that argument has no force now, since the chances that this slump will be over anytime soon are virtually nil. Will the next administration do what’s needed to deal with the economic slump? Not if Mr. McCain pulls off an upset. What we need right now is more government spending — but when Mr. McCain was asked in one of the debates how he would deal with the economic crisis, he answered: “Well, the first thing we have to do is get spending under control.”

If Mr. Skelly’s opponent has been bringing earmarks to this district, that is one way we would be better served by keeping the incumbent. Regretfully, the incumbent is quite far to the right.   

David Mincberg has been running a tone deaf negative campaign against the Republican incumbent. After so many years of Republican rule in Harris County, there are so many unmet needs and things to to be done. Why don’t we hear about some of that? Instead, what we are getting are attacks against incumbent that are simply not going to resonate with the public after his very visible role during Hurricane Ike.

Also, Mr. Mincberg has a campaign sign—one so big that it needs to be propped up from behind with rods—located on the right of way on a 610 feeder road near the Galleria. I’d like to take that sign and nail it to the side of Mr. Mincberg’s house. (I won’t though. And don’t you either.) 

I did in the end vote for Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg. Though I’m not sure that was the right course. There is little doubt these men would be better than the incumbents. But from my view, as a liberal who has lived in a city all his life and had my vote taken for granted by Democrats who deliver little, both Mr.Skelly and Mr. Mincberg send up warning flags.

It’s not about ideological differences. There are only two main political parties for 300 million people and a big tent is required. It’s about the issues you choose to focus on and how you campaign. There is plenty of room for political creativity and correct behavior in even the most Republican of constituencies. 

In contrast to Mr. Skelly and Mr. Mincberg, there were votes I was glad to cast—

Rick Noriega for the United States SenateMr. Noriega will be quite a contrast to the far right incumbent. He has served his country in war and is now ready to serve in Washington.  Also, his wife has been known to visit this blog.

Ellen Cohen for the Texas House District 134—It is good that Ms. Cohen appears to have an easy race after banishing the lousy Martha Wong in 2006.

Loren Jackson for Harris County District ClerkMr. Jackson is very honest, never puts a campaign sign in the public space, and once gave me a campaign tee-shirt. Below is a picture of Mr. Jackson. If you see him be certain to shake his hand and to tell him you share his commitment to freedom.  

Loren Jackson

Adrian Garcia for Harris County Sheriff—Mr. Garcia is going to bring some real justice to our county. Everybody is going to be treated the same and that treatment will be just and decent.   

It was fun to vote. I encourage all who share my views to go out and vote. As for those who do not share my views—I can’t offer as much encouragement. You might want to think about staying at home. I’m sure there is some dusting or laundry you could catch up on. 

( Below—The young women below wanted citizens to vote “no” on the showing of movies on Sunday in the town of La Grange, Illinois. This was in 1929. I don’t know how the vote turned out.)  

original negative 

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Creation Story Of Reconstruction Era Blacks

Below is a creation story as told by black preachers in Reconstruction era America. It comes from the book The Age of Lincoln by Orville Vernon Burton.

From the book— 

“Throughout the southern states whites heard a different version of the creation story. In His own image, African American preachers declared, God created Adam and Eve black. They turned white, and the hair straightened, from sin and guilt, from encountering God after eating the forbidden fruit.”

As you can guess, stories like this did not go over well with southern whites. Black preachers, black folks, and whites sympathetic to black progress in the years after the Civil War were routinely harassed, attacked and killed in the post Civil War South. 

Reconstruction was a time of great potential and tragic failure. It’s a time in our history that merits study by all Americans. While 2008 is a better day than 1875, you can still see today many echos of a brutal past. 

PBS has good information on Reconstruction. 

Eric Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 is a leading history of this time.

It remains hard to imagine that all that blood was shed in the Civil War and black folks still had to endure 100 more years of Jim Crow.

Nothing is so lousy that it can not come true. The work of freedom is never done.

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Books, History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many Presidents Have Died Early In Their Terms—President Palin

When a President has died in office, it has often been quite early in his term. This has often made a big difference in American history.

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day.

The first President to die in office, William Henry Harrison, expired just a month into his term. Harrison died in 1841. President Harrison, at 68 the oldest President to that point, was a Whig. His Vice President, John Tyler, was a representative of the Southern planter class picked to help balance the ticket and not in full agreement with the Whig mainstream. As President, Tyler pursued policies, such a veto of a national bank, that greatly distressed Whig leaders such as Henry Clay.

President Zachary Taylor passed on in 1850 after serving just 17 months of his term. He was succeeded by Millard Filmore

Abe Lincoln’s (above)1865 assassination occurred just a month into his second term. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson (below), who had not been Lincoln’s first term VP, had very different views than Lincoln on Reconstruction, and how the South and Southerners should be handled after the Civil War.

Here is a stark difference between the person elected President and the person elected Vice President. The United States got one month of a great President and just under four years of a terrible President. And black folks got a century of Jim Crow.  

James Garfield was shot in the first year of his term in 1881. He died a few months later. Garfield’s successor, Chester Arthur, might well have been an improvement. President Arthur sought Civil Service reform and was surprisingly independeant despite a reputation as a machine politician.

William McKinley was shot and killed in the first year of his second term in 1901. McKinley’s Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, who like Andrew Johnson had not been the first term VP, was a very different man than McKinley.

Franklin Roosevelt was shot at in 1933 in the time between his election and inauguration. Roosevelt’s Vice President-elect, John Nance Garner was far more conservative than F.D.R. You might never of had a New Deal if Garner had become President instead of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt would later die in the first weeks of his fourth term. Vice President Harry Truman who had not been VP in the first three F.D.R terms, took the White House and did a pretty good job.  

Also, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously wounded in his first year as President in 1981.

Let’s say you are less than a hardcore Republican, yet are still considering voting for 72 year old John McCain. American history shows us that you may feel you’re voting for Mr. McCain, but that what you really may get is President Sarah Palin.

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Election Fact Of The Day, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments